The Best Beef Brisket (Smoked in the Oven)


This recipe for the best beef brisket EVER that is “smoked” in the oven or pellet grill and chopped for barbecue sandwiches or eating alone with healthy sides.

best beef brisket smoked in oven


This is Beef Brisket “Amarillo Style.”

I’ve been making this beef brisket for 30+ years, and the recipe was given to me by my “mother-in-love” who we call Mimi. 

When Zane’s family lived in Amarillo, Texas, his mom learned to cook brisket like most of her Texas friends~which is the recipe I am sharing in this post. I’ve never seen anyone outside of our family cook brisket this way, but then again I am seldom outside of Alabama:-)

Be Sure to Choose the Correct Brisket

It is very important to buy a flat cut beef brisket NOT corned beef brisket. If you see the word “corned” on the label,  this is not the right meat. Costco is my preference; they have lovely briskets at a good price. My briskets are not trimmed. It is super easy to remove the fat from a brisket once it is cooked. The fat layer (cook with it on top) keeps the meat moist during cooking).

fall apart beef brisket

What size of brisket do you buy?

Brisket is something that I usually make for company. It is what I call “small group food.”  I usually buy a 6-7 pound brisket when we are aiming to feed 18-20. I usually put another meat alongside this. Sometimes I get a couple of BBQ chickens quartered or chopped for a BBQ buffet (when we have a crowd).

How do you marinate beef brisket for cooking?

In the short video below, I  show how easy it is to marinade a beef brisket for cooking. I show the process of rubbing the brisket with salts, pouring in the liquid marinade, and placing the brisket in the bag for marinating. I include a few tips and tricks in the video, so it is worth a watch:-)

How long do you marinate beef brisket?

This brisket needs to marinate 24 hours or overnight. Because I am a “make ahead and freeze” kinda gal, I marinade beef brisket and freeze it a few weeks or months before I plan to cook it. This makes it easier (in my opinion) just before a party, as all you have to do is thaw and cook for the party~the marinade step is done.

How does the brisket get a smoked flavor from the oven?

Believe it or not, this oven-baked brisket has a huge smokey flavor from the marinade. Liquid Smoke (yes, an entire bottle) does the trick. Worcestershire and a 3-salt rub add even more complexity to the flavor.

How do you cook a beef brisket in the oven?

I place my marinaded brisket in a roasting pan (with the top grid removed). Then, I wrap the brisket tightly with heavy-duty aluminum foil. This makes a nice “oven” for the meat~similar to a browning bag. In the video below, I show how I take a marinaded beef brisket from the freezer to the oven to the table.

How to make this brisket on a pellet grill.

If you have a pellet grill, simply follow these instructions using the same temperature and cook time, just use your outdoor pellet grill. This is my new favorite way to cook this meat since I just bought a RecTec pellet grill.

How long do you cook a beef brisket in the oven to make it fall apart tender?

For large briskets (4 or more pounds), I put the brisket in super early in the morning so that it will have at least 8 hours in the oven.  I’ve also put the brisket in the oven just before bedtime and cooked it all night. Long, low and slow bake time is key to breaking down the meat and making it fork-tender.

What temperature do you cook a beef brisket to make it fall apart tender? 

Whether I cook the brisket in an indoor oven or outdoor smoker (pellet grill), I have found the best temperature for the oven/smoker is a consistent 200-225 F. I have not used a meat thermometer (since I go by long, low & slow cook time), but I would advise an internal temp of at least 205 for the meat if you are looking for “fall apart” brisket. Removing the brisket from the oven/smoker at 205 F and letting it sit for an hour or two (while it will continue to cook and tenderize) will yield fall-apart tender meat. Then let is rest in foil for at least one hour, preferably two, before removing the foil.  

This brisket is chopped not sliced.

If you’ll note in the photo, this brisket is chopped. Many folks think beef brisket has to be sliced, but this one is cooked to the “fall apart tender” stage that is perfect for chopping like BBQ. I personally prefer chopped to sliced.

When the brisket is removed from the oven, always allow at least one hour (preferably two) for the meat to sit, covered, to settle. Leave the brisket covered tightly in foil, removing only after the “sit time.” During this sitting period, the meat will get more tender, succulent, and easier to chop.

In the short video below, I share my two quick and easy ways to chop this beef brisket before serving.

Be sure to save the beef brisket au jus!!

Be sure to save the au jus after cooking, as it keeps the meat moist and is great served on the side. I also serve this brisket with white and red barbecue sauces. If you want to remove the fat from the au jus, simply let it sit in the fridge or freezer for a few hours. The fat will rise to the top and can be lifted or skimmed off easily.

beef brisket

What do you serve with beef brisket?

When I make this brisket, I typically serve it with a good slaw. My favorites are this vinegar slaw for BBQ (if I plan to use this for sandwiches), or this crunchy slaw (always a crowd-pleaser). For a slam dunk dinner fit for company, I serve this brisket with Boursin Potato Gratin and Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad with Pecans, Pears & Gorgonzola. These two sides pair especially well with the savory smoky brisket.

If you try this family favorite of mine, please let me know how it turns out! I know your family will love it:-) As always, thanks so much for stopping by. Wishing you a joyful, blessed, and savvy day!!!

best beef brisket smoked in oven

The Best Beef Brisket Smoked in the Oven

Yield: 16
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Additional Time: 2 hours 1 second
Total Time: 10 hours 10 minutes 1 second

This is hands down the best brisket you'll ever eat. You'll never make another brisket again!


  • 1 4-5 pound beef brisket (not corned beef)
  • 1 bottle liquid smoke (natural hickory smoke, original recipe)
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire
  • onion salt
  • celery salt
  • garlic salt


  2. Place brisket on foil or parchment.
  3. Rub all sides generously with onion, garlic & celery salts.
  4. Place brisket in a large heavy-duty freezer bag (2-gallon bags work well for most briskets).
  5. Pour liquid smoke and Worcestershire over brisket.
  6. Marinade overnight, turning occasionally to distribute marinade on all sides. If freezing, place in the freezer at this point.
  8. Preheat oven to 225 degrees.
  9. Line rimmed cookie sheet or roasting pan with heavy duty foil.
  10. Place brisket down in the pan, fat side up.
  11. Cover entire pan with heavy-duty foil, sealing the edges tightly.
  12. Cook 8 hours.
  13. Remove from oven CAREFULLY so as not to spill juices from the pan.
  14. Allow to sit at least one hour before removing foil.
  15. Unwrap foil; scrape fat layer off and discard.
  16. Pull brisket into shreds; chop into pieces with kitchen shears.
  17. Pour au jus over meat; cover and keep warm until serving.


To freeze, make the brisket up to the point of baking, and freeze in the marinade in an airtight freezer bag. Thaw 2-3 days before cooking. Cook as directed.

Nutrition Information
Yield 16 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 413Total Fat 26gSaturated Fat 10gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 12gCholesterol 150mgSodium 240mgCarbohydrates 1gFiber 0gSugar 0gProtein 41g

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  1. Hey Jamie! If you cook it on your pellet grill, do you wrap it in foil for the entire cook time or do you let it smoke low and slow for awhile then wrap it? I have a recteq and want to try this recipe out!

  2. Hi Jaime ,
    I can’t wait to try to make this brisket for my wine group. What kind of baking dish is that one with the handles? Would love one of those.
    Thank you,

  3. I lived in Houston for 32 years and have been cooking this for over 40 years! My mother in law also gave me the recipe. My children still request this when they come home and often asked for this at Thanksgiving over turkey. Oh and don’t forget how yummy your kitchen smells while cooking! Thanks!!

  4. Julie, I would allow 10 to 12 for a brisket that large. Remember~you wont burn it (it is wrapped in foil) and the longer cook time just breaks down the toughness. LMK how it turns out!

  5. Hello – I have a 7 pound brisket that is pretty thick. Should I do 8 hours or closer to 10, then rest for the 2 hours?

  6. Hi! I saw there were two sizes of liquid smoke at the store. Which size should I use?

  7. Hi Lois, I reserve the liquid that settles in the baking sheet after cooking, and I pour some over the meat. I reheat on low heat, covered in foil, until “just warm.” You can add BBQ sauce after as well!!!

  8. Betty Jo, I am THRILLED that you found the recipe!!! All credit goes to my mother-in-law, Mimi, who shared it with me after living in Amarillo for 3 years. It is a Texas recipe for sure!! Blessings to you!!!

  9. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I went to get my 40-year-old oven brisket recipe, and it was GONE!!!!!!!!!! I was devastated, to say the least! I took a chance that out there in the cyber world I would be able to find a similar recipe. WALA! I found your lovely blog, and it was the exact Ft Worth recipe I learned to prepare from a lovely Texas Southern Belle!!! Thank you, Jamie (Who I am thinking is another southern belle) for saving my favorite holiday meal, for my large family.

    We lived in Ft. Worth for six years while my husband was serving at Carswell AFB. We loved being stationed there and loved the brisket, I learned to prepare in the oven from a real southern belle.

    May you and yours have a blessed holiday season.

    Betty Jo Mortensen
    Layton, Utah

  10. Ryan, I just saw your comment and hope it turned out well! You should have been fine cooking it for the full 8 hours. It is hard to over cook this brisket.

  11. I got a 10 pound brisket and cut it in half. It is in the fridge marinating now and will be going in the oven tomorrow morning. I do not have a meat thermometer, so I want to make sure I cook it correctly. Would I still cook it for 8 hours for since the 10 pounds is cut in two pieces?

  12. I made this and it was delicious. Costco sells prime brisket for a very good price. How large a bottle of liquid smoke do you use? I decided that the 16 oz. bottle was what you had in mind, but if I can use less, I would like tol

  13. How many ounces is a “Bottle of Liquid Smoke”? Also, can I substitute garlic powder for garlic salt, onion powder for onion salt and plain salt for celery salt?

  14. Hi Daniel, if you do this in the oven, it is similar to a really lean, flavorful roast beef. If you do this on the pellet grill (same temp as oven~just adds smoke), it is more like brisket. Either way it is absolutely delicious!!

  15. Hi Debbie!!! I am so happy that you all loved the brisket!!! I have never made a version that is sliceable (or at least one that I loved). We eat it “chopped” with buns and without, so I’ve never done it any other way. If you do a sliceable version, let me know how you do it and how it turns out!!!! Best to you and yours!!!!

  16. Hi Jamie: I made this over Christmas and wow! it turned out so good and was so easy! After I put it in the oven I set the timer for eight hours and never looked at it all day. Let it sit for two hours covered and it was perfect! We all loved it and there was nothing left! I have a question and that is if I wanted to slice it would I cook it for less time? I ask this because if we want to eat it without buns it seem it would be better sliced. Thank you for sharing this and for all the details!

  17. Hi Tracie, what a large brisket wow!!!! I def would double the entire marinade recipe for this large of a cut. I also suggest you cut the brisket in half so that more surface area will be exposed and that it will not take as long to cook. Go by internal temp not time…..get it to at least 195 internal temp before removing. Let it sit before unwrapping. Let me know how it turns out!!!!

  18. Hi! Going to make this for Christmas. I’m not very good at cooking meat. I’m going to cook a 15 pound brisket. I understand I’ll be using more salt. I was wondering if I should use 2 bottles of Liquid Smoke since it is double the size? It smells pretty strong. Would it overwhelm the meat if I use 2? How long to you think I should cook this monster? Thank so much and have a blessed and Merry Christmas.

  19. Jennifer, I am so happy to hear this!!! All the credit goes to my mother-in-law:-) I am so happy she shared it with me years ago. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts!!!!

  20. I made the brisket in the oven following your recipe and tips. My biggest regret is not making a bigger brisket. It was amazing!!
    Definitely one of the best recipes ever!
    Thank you so much for sharing!!

  21. It is SO delicious, Jennifer!!! The goal is to get to an internal temp of 200 and then allow to sit covered for an hour or two after. I highly recommend an internal meat thermometer. But since it is covered tightly with foil, it won’t burn. I would say you should be good to cook 7 hours in oven and let sit 1-2 more before removing foil. I’ve always used the salts listed. I think you will be surprised that you don’t taste it. You could leave it out and will probably be fine!!!

  22. Hi
    This looks so delicious! I can’t wait to try it.
    Is there anything you can substitute for the celery salt? Not a fan of anything celery.
    Also please, how long would you cook a 3 lb brisket?

  23. Hi Terri! If you have an internal thermometer, that is easiest. I cook mine to about 200-225 degrees. But since this is wrapped so tightly and cooked on such low heat, it won’t burn. Try 7 hours and let is sit wrapped for 8. That should do it!! Let me know how it turns out!!!!

  24. Jamie, my brisket is just shy of 3.5lbs.
    How long should i cook @ 225°.
    Oven cooked meats are my nemesis.

  25. Yes~you will get great results!!!Just start it early, and keep in the oven long, low and slow. Allow up to 2 hours to rest~it will get better as it sits. Don’t forget the BBQ sauce!!! LMK how it turns out!!!!

  26. This recipe looks amazing and as a last minute dinner decision for tomorrow, will marinating it 12 hours (overnight) still provide the same results? I sure hope so! Thank you :)

  27. Hi Scott! I am so happy to hear that you were coronated “King” for this brisket and white sauce!! You definitely made two of my personal favorites. Thank you for letting me know how you liked the recipes. Best to you and yours!!!

  28. Thank you for the answer to my previous question. Just to follow up: I marinated this yesterday afternoon, put it in the oven this morning, took it out for an 1 1/2 hr rest, and then I was King. I also made the MissAlaTenn White BBQ sauce as well and I seriously won the day. Thank you thank you thank you!!

  29. Hi Kathy! It is SO good! I buy mine mostly from Costco. Sometimes I find them at The Fresh Market. I also get some from Shipley Farms Beef. My friend Grey Shipley’s family farm. SO delicious!!!

  30. Looks so good. Where do you buy the brisket? I can only find the corn beef brisket like you said NOT to use.

  31. Hi Scott! I understand the confusion. I edited the post. Since sizes of roasts vary, I had suggested the 300 F “first hour” to ensure that the roast would be done. I now believe that a steady 225 F (indoor oven) or 200-225 F (pellet smoker oven) is best. My rule of thumb is 8 hours in the oven one hour (or two) sitting in foil before removing/chopping. I hope this helps! I made this in the pellet smoker yesterday, and it was marvelous.

  32. I’m a bit confused by the recipe vs the blog. In the article you say you pre-heat the oven to 300 and allow it to cook at 300 for the 1st hour, then turn it down to 250 for the remaking 7. However, in the recipe you say to heat the oven to 225 and let it cook the whole time… these seem drastically different. Do you do one method over the other?

    Would love to know!


  33. Hi Yvette, this is a great question!!! I have never measured….I basically sprinkle the meat liberally with each salt until until the meat looks “coated.” I would say if you measured it, you would use about 1 to 1/5 TB of each. Let me know how this turns out!!

  34. Hi, Jaime.

    For a 6-7 lb brisket, how much of each salt do you use for your rub?

    onion salt
    celery salt
    garlic salt

    Thanks so much!

  35. Hi Kayla! You can absolutely make this a day ahead. Here’s what you need to do. First, be sure to KEEP THE AU JUS (do not throw it away without thinking like I have done a zillion times:-). You’ll want to shred/chop the meat, place it in a rubbermaid or airtight container, and drizzle the au jus over it. This will keep it from drying out overnight in the fridge. Save more au just to drizzle over the meat when you reheat it the next day. You will want to line a tray with foil, spread the meat out evenly, drizzle with au jus, cover loosely with foil, and reheat low and slow (maybe 300 for 30 minutes or so~just until it is heated through but doesn’t cook any further). Serve with white and red sauce. It is FAB!!!! Let me hear back from you as to how it turns out.

  36. Jamie,
    I am going to make this for the 4th and I have limited time, can I make it a day ahead and reheat it or would you not recommend that?

  37. Hi Lawrence, I am SO happy that you tried and loved the brisket! We’ve been making it for over a decade, and it is a family fave. Folks rave over it; it is always a hit. I’ll keep posting recipes so that you’ll not have to get bogged down into beauty/style posts LOL!!!!

  38. Jamie,

    Based on an amazing result using your recipe for a 4 pound brisket a couple of weeks ago I’ve got round two in the oven as I type.

    Following your recipe to a “T” gave us a tender, delicious, moist, and smokey brisket that was enjoyed by myself, my wife, and my two sons.

    I don’t know if it matters, but this time I did let the brisket come to room temperature before putting it in the oven.

    Thank you for posting this resume and, while I’m probably not going to be visiting your beauty or style pages I’m defininitely planning on perusing your other recipes.


  39. HI Cindy! I would buy a 6-7 pound if you can find it if brisket is the only meat you are serving. I often buy a couple of BBQ chickens at my favorite local BBQ place to serve with this when I have a large group. If you have good hearty sides, brisket alone should be plenty. Hope this helps…..

  40. Hey! Great question! You do pour all marinade over, that is one reason you’ll want to make sure your roaster has sides. When the brisket cooks, it will release fat, so be careful when removing the finished product from the oven. I’ve had liquid spill out before. Let me know how it turns out!

  41. Hey girl! Had to check this out! Next time I’m at Costco… I’m so going to get This and cook it:) woo sounds soooo good!

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